Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa fulfilled a promise given to the young daughter of his cabinet colleague, who went on fast-unto-death against setting up a UN advisory panel on the country that her father will return home soon.
Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa went on a `fast-unto-death` on Thursday outside the UN office here, demanding that the world body scrap a panel set up to probe allegations of war crimes during the country`s civil war.
When Rajapaksa called up the family of Weerawansa to enquire about his health, the minister`s wife broke down and told him that their little daughter had also stopped eating because of her father`s condition.
Answering a phone call from President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the wife of Minister Wimal Weerawansa, Sashi, requested President to rescue her husband in any possible way.
While talking to the President, she stated that their daughter has also been refusing to eat following the father going on a hunger strike.
When President Rajapaksa contacted the Housing and Construction Minister`s daughter over the phone, she too asked the President to bring her father home for lunch.
Rajapaksa had assured Weerawansa`s daughter that her father will be back soon if she had her dinner.
"If you have your dinner tonight I will definitely bring your father home," promised the President. Thereafter President then contacted the doctor treating Minister Weerawansa: "Doctor, I have promised Wimal`s daughter that her father would be home soon. She took her dinner because I told so. Can you explain this to him (Weerawansa)," asked the President.
The doctor replied that he could well understand the situation as he too has a daughter.
When all attempts of Rajapaksa`s emissaries to convince Weerawansa to give up the fast failed, Rajapaksa himself rushed to the site outside the UN office where the minister was fasting.
He offered him some coconut water and asked people around to look for the waiting ambulance.
"Where is the ambulance?," Rajapaksa asked upon which his brother and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa pointed out to the direction where the hospital vehicle was parked. Weerawansa was then taken to a Army hospital for treatment and was immediately put on drips.